Martin Holds Off Canet to Win at Losail

by Louis Suddaby

Jorge Martin edged out Aron Canet to win the opening round of the 2018 Moto3 season in Qatar. The two Spaniards fought out a race-long tussle with Martin’s superior straight-line speed ultimately making the difference, the Gresini rider winning by two hundredths of a second.

The race followed the pre-season form book with Martin, Canet and Leopard’s Enea Bastianini proving a class above the rest of the field. The leading group would shrink by a third on lap six with the Italian losing the front end of his Honda at turn six, leaving Martin and Canet along to dispute the victory while the thirteen-rider chase group now had a podium position in their sights.

At the front, Canet would often threaten a move down the start/finish straight, only to lose out in the slipstream of Martin’s no.88 machine. That pattern would continue all the way to the chequered flag with Jorge holding on despite leading the Estrella Galicia rider onto the home straight, hanging on by 0.023s.

Despite a poor start, the podium scrap looked to be heading John McPhee’s way but a crash on the final lap ruled him out. Italian youngster Marco Bezzecchi was also wiped out within sight of the flag as the riders attempted overtaking moves with increased desperation and eventually, Lorenzo Dalla Porta emerged in third for his maiden Moto3 rostrum on the sole remaining Leopard Honda.

Polesitter Niccolo Antonelli took fourth ahead of leading KTM rider Gabriel Rodrigo with Fabio Di Giannantonio rounding out the top six. Japanese duo Kaito Toba and Ayumu Sasaki were seventh and eighth respectively with Jakub Kornfeil and Andrea Migno completing the top ten, less than a second shy of the rostrum.


Moto3 Grand Prix of Qatar: Race Result

188. Jorge MartinHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto338:18.20725
244. Aron CanetHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+0.02320
348. Lorenzo Dalla PortaHondaLeopard Racing+6.74616
423. Niccolo AntonelliHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse+6.79113
519. Gabriel RodrigoKTMRBA BOE Skull Rider+6.85011
621. Fabio Di GiannantonioHondaDel Conca Gresini Moto3+6.91610
727. Kaito TobaHondaHonda Team Asia+6.9469
871. Ayumu SasakiHondaPetronas Sprinta Racing+6.9988
984. Jakub KornfeilKTMRedox PruestelGP+7.1567
1016. Andrea MignoKTMAngel Nieto Team Moto3+7.6996
117. Adam NorrodinHondaPetronas Sprinta Racing+7.7535
125. Jaume MasiaKTMBester Capital Dubai+8.0264
1322. Kazuki MasakiKTMRBA BOE Skull Rider+8.8293
1412. Marco BezzecchiKTMRedox PruestelGP+21.8382
1542. Marcos RamirezKTMBester Capital Dubai+26.9121
1610. Dennis FoggiaKTMSky Racing Team VR46+26.981
1714. Tony ArbolinoHondaMarinelli Snipers Team+33.401
1841. Nakarin AtiratphuvapatHondaHonda Team Asia+33.446
1976. Makar YurchenkoKTMCIP - Green Power+33.622
NC17. John McPheeKTMCIP - Green Power+1 Lap
NC72. Alonso LopezHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0+7 Laps
NC11. Livio LoiKTMReale Avintia Academy+7 Laps
NC8. Nicolo BulegaKTMSky Racing Team VR46+8 Laps
NC33. Enea BastianiniHondaLeopard Racing+13 Laps
NC65. Philipp OettlKTMSudmetal Schedl GP Racing+15 Laps
NC40. Darryn BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo+15 Laps
NS75. Albert ArenasKTMAngel Nieto Team Moto3
NS24. Tatsuki SuzukiHondaSIC58 Squadra Corse

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